US Heath Body CDC Changes Virus Risk Groups, Adds Pregnancy To The List

Among women with COVID-19, about 32% of pregnant women were reported to have been hospitalized, compared with about 6% of non-pregnant women.

US’ top health agency the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revised its list of who are at higher risk for severe Covid-19 illness.

The revised list has added pregnant women and removed age alone as a factor.

The good news is that pregnant women who are infected with COVID-19 aren’t at any greater risk of death than women who aren’t pregnant, said Dr. Dana Meaney-Delman, a COVID-19 deputy incident manager with the CDC.

The worse news is that infected pregnant women are more likely to be hospitalized and are at increased risk for ICU admission and to require mechanical ventilation, according to a CDC study of thousands of women in the U.S. from January to June.

Among women with COVID-19, about 32% of pregnant women were reported to have been hospitalized, compared with about 6% of non-pregnant women, the study found.

“For those at higher risk, we recommend limiting contact with others as much as possible, or restricting contacts to a small number of people who are willing to take measures to reduce the risk of (you) becoming infected,” said CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield.

The same advice holds for people who live with or care for people at higher risk, Redfield added.

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Previously, the CDC said those at high risk of serious illness included people aged 65 years and older; those who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility; and people with serious heart conditions, obesity, diabetes, liver disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic lung disease, and conditions that leave them with weakened immune systems.

Those who are at high risk include people with chronic kidney disease, chronic inflammatory lung disease, obesity, serious heart conditions, sickle cell disease, Type 2 diabetes, and weakened immune systems because of organ transplants. The threshold for obesity concern was lowered from a body mass index of 40 down to 30.

The list of people who might be at high risk includes pregnant women, smokers and those with asthma, diseases that affect blood flow to the brain, cystic fibrosis, high blood pressure, dementia, liver disease, scarred or damaged lungs, Type 1 diabetes, a rare blood disorder called thalassemia, and people who have weakened immune systems due to HIV or other reasons.

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The CDC study recommended that pregnant women not skip prenatal care appointments. They should also limit interactions with other people as much as possible, take precautions to prevent getting COVID-19 when interacting with others, have at least a 30-day supply of medicines, and talk with their health care provider about how to stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CDC has previously noted that pregnant women are at greater risk of getting sick from other respiratory viruses than people who are not pregnant but said that there is “no data” showing that COVID-19 affects pregnant women differently from others.

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